Keynote Speaker: Geoffrey Canada

In more than two decades with Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc., Geoffrey has become nationally recognized for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem and as a passionate advocate for education reform. Canada founded the Harlem Children’s Zone, which The New York Times Magazine called “one of the most ambitious social experiments of our time.”

The Harlem Children’s Zone is driven by the belief that the success of our children and the strength of the community go hand in hand. Their needs are inseparable and must be addressed together to break the cycle of generational poverty and give our kids a real shot at the American dream.

The Harlem Children’s Zone targets a specific geographic area in Central Harlem with a comprehensive range of services. In 2016, the Zone Project covered 100 blocks and served more than 12,000 children and 12,000 adults. Within the zone, educational, social, and medical services are combined — starting at birth and continuing to college. It meshes those services into an interlocking web, and then it drops that web over an entire neighborhood. The objective is to create a safety net woven so tightly that children in the neighborhood just can’t slip through.

In 2014, Geoffrey announced his retirement; however, he remains a passionate advocate for education and poverty issues.